Here is an alternative to standard end milling — an operation performed on a CNC milling machine to produce circular grooves in the part face. This new single-point trepanning tooling strategy can produce both symmetrical and asymmetrical face grooves, too, and perform fly cutting.
Until recently, shops had two options to machine circular grooves in the face of a part. One is to spin a part in a turning center and feed in a static face-grooving tool. The other is to use a machine tool to circle-interpolate using an end mill. Shops typically go with the latter option when the part cannot be chucked in a turning center, has a geometry that includes bosses or features impeding tool access, or would create an out-of-balance condition when spun. However, tool breakage and long cycle times can be an issue, especially when using small-diameter end mills. Plus, those tools create only symmetrical groove profiles.
This tool enables a range of groove diameters — with a symmetrical profile or not — to be created.
Recently, Thinbit/Kaiser Tool Co. has developed a trepanning-type tool based on the static, lathe, face-grooving inserts it has offered for many years to enable single-point cutting of grooves on a machining center. Called Mill A Groove, this line of tools installs in a user’s boring head to enable a range of groove diameters — with a symmetrical profile or not — to be created.
Read more: A New Spin on CNC Machining Face Grooves